The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for businesses across all industries, but organisations are still looking to move forward and continue as normal. This means that graduates looking for roles at financial businesses can still have success, as long as they have the skills that organisations covet.
Here we take a look at six skills that finance businesses are looking from graduates after COVID-19.
1: Natural planners
According to finance specialists Wellden Turnbull, more than 1.5 million SMEs in the UK do not have a business plan. This is might come as a surprise, but it simply shows that many businesses are happy to get by without an outright plan of how to maximise what they are doing.
Finance businesses, however, are coming round to the idea that working this way simply is not viable – especially after the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges that it has put on the economy. This means that businesses are always looking for graduate candidates who have not only great ideas for the business but also the skills in how to plan and implement them.
2: Great communicators
Finance graduates and those looking for roles in finance businesses are sometimes suggested as having strong analytical minds, but not always the best communication skills. This is something that finance businesses are looking to change as they recruit for the future after COVID-19.
Communication is key in any financial role, as you not only need to understand the numbers, you need to be able to make colleagues, clients, partners, and suppliers understand them too. Great communicators are not only those with a gift for the spoken word – being able to write is essential too.
3: Problem solvers
It can certainly be argued that COVID-19 has created a lot of problems – so perhaps it is natural that finance businesses are looking to recruit skilled problem solvers. It is true that we live in complicated and unprecedented circumstances, with businesses facing new scenarios and issues on a daily basis – this means that the industry requires those with the kind of problem-solving skills to think around the challenges.
You might not think it, but it is perfectly possible to improve your problem-solving abilities. Funnily enough, while you might think of problem-solving as coming up with a creative solution to an issue, a huge part of it is applying logic and methodology to come up with a way to deal with the problem.
4: Customer service specialists
Fantastic customer service has become essential to just about every business on the planet. This is especially true through COVID-19 where customers and clients are able to be pickier about those who they do business with. It is up to financial businesses to go above and beyond and to provide a great experience to customers.
It can be a great idea for graduates to get experience directly in challenging customer-facing roles. Sometimes this is not pleasant, as it can mean dealing with angry people and those with complaints – however, developing the skills to be able to be calm in the face of challenges and still provide great customer service can be invaluable to the finance industry.
Being able to work well individually is fantastic – but companies thrive when individuals are able to come together in teams and leverage their skills most effectively. Some candidates are incredible workers, but when put in a team environment they might not be able to get the same levels of success.
Finance businesses are looking for people who can slot into teams and provide their skills effectively. And it is worth pointing out that COVID-19 created a scenario in which teams were forced to use technology in order to continue to work together, as many businesses asked staff to work from home. Companies will be looking for graduates who can work well in teams at the same time as working remotely.
6: Time management
Good time management is another key skill that finance graduates need to have in their arsenal. Being able to do a great job is one thing, but sometimes the real challenge is being able to do it in a manner that is time-efficient. Businesses need to be able to work effectively to be successful and time management is a huge part of this.
COVID-19 has emphasised the importance of skills that prioritise efficiency and effectiveness – graduates that can demonstrate these skills are well equipped to find a great role after COVID-19 and beyond.
Guest post by Dakota Murphey, who has more than a decade of experience in a range of HR and Marketing roles. Since becoming a full-time mum, she enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge through her writing and connecting with like-minded professionals. Follow her on Twitter: @Dakota_Murphey